You might think that icicles are the quintessential sign of a wintery day, and while they do have a certain visual appeal, the truth is that they could be a sign of a serious problem on your Salt Lake City roofing: ice dams.


What are Ice Dams?


Ice dams form at the edge of the roof after warmer air melts snow and ice from the top of the roof, but cooler temperatures out at the edge of your roofing in Salt Lake City cause that melted snow to freeze again. Usually it freezes over the eaves of your house, just before the water reaches the gutter and downspout. This dam blocks any other melting ice and snow from reaching the gutters, which leaves standing water on your shingles for days or even weeks at a time.  Not only do these dams potentially damage your roofing, they can also cause leaks that damage your home’s interior, and even put your downspouts and gutters at risk.


Checking for Ice Dams


If you see the signs of ice dams, it’s important to take steps to address the problem right away. Waiting until spring comes and all the snow and ice melts from your roof could leave your home damaged. Some of the signs you can look for that would indicate an ice dam include:


  • Icicles forming at the edge of the roof or gutter
  • A history of ice dams on your home
  • Ice coming through the soffit (the overhanging eaves at the edge of the roof) or the back side of the gutters
  • Water streaks or ice forming on the walls of your home


How to Eliminate Ice Dams


Properly eliminating ice dams requires a concerted effort, and a combination of several different things. The most important thing is to address the underlying problem, which is that too much warm air is reaching the top of the roof to melt the ice and snow. To do this you will need to improve insulation, sealing, and ventilation in the attic and out on the eaves of your roof. Without taking care of these underlying issues, you can continue to fix ice dams as they appear, but you will not be able to eliminate them completely. Failure to fix ice dams, and their underlying causes, will lead to melted water that leaks through the shingles, and eventually seeps into exterior and interior ceilings and walls. Ice dams that break free can cause significant damage to your yard and home exterior (or even injury to pets or people), and prolonged moisture in the area of your roof and attic can lead to mold and mildew damage.


Talk to a Salt Lake City roofing contractor today if you believe that your home is at risk for ice dams so you can address the problem right away.

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Salt Lake City, UT 84115
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